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Get Ready to Alexandria’s Paw-ty at Paws in the Park 2023!

(Photos: Animal Welfare League of Alexandria)

Alexandria, VA – Mark your calendars. Alexandria’s biggest festival for animal lovers – Paws in the Park – returns to Old Town Alexandria on Sunday, October 15, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Oronoco Bay Park and promises to be bigger than ever.

This annual event celebrates northern Virginia’s love for animals. This year, it offers attendees a free one-of-a-kind family and pet-friendly festival featuring 72 artisans, businesses, food and beverage vendors, lots of adoptable animals, and a variety of entertainment. Like years past, all proceeds from this event will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Shop (and Adopt) ‘Til You Drop

Along with many local artisans, nonprofits, and animal-focused businesses, Paws in the Park will host food and beverage vendors. Attendees can pack a picnic and savor drinks and food from local cideries, breweries, wineries, bakeries, food trucks, and more while enjoying the day’s entertainment and shopping.

If you’ve been looking to add a furry member to your family, the 10+ animal welfare organizations and rescues in Rescue Row will have adoptable animals available for attendees to meet. AWLA’s mobile adoption unit – Waggin’ Wheels – will also be there.

Entertainment and More

This year’s entertainment, sponsored by the Alexandria Library Foundation, begins at 11:30 a.m. and includes repeat musical favorites like bilingual sensation Uno Dos Tres Andres and new acts and stage events like musical duo Katie and Logan and a Dog (and Human) Costume Contest. The costume contest is open to everyone, and pre-registration is required. Each category winner will receive a cool prize!

There’s plenty more fun to be had at both the Family Fun Tent and AWLA Tent. The Family Fun Tent, sponsored by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, will feature arts and crafts for kids of all ages, including decorating pet bandanas and collaborating on a pet-themed community “mural.” Stop by the AWLA Tent to purchase your 2024 AWLA calendars and bid on items in their silent auction. The silent auction will feature many unique items and be available online, so winners will not need to be present to participate or win! Items include a $500 gift card to Wegmans, custom pet portraits, and much more.

The first 1,000 attendees at Paws in the Park will receive a one-of-a-kind swag bag. Paws in the Park is open to leashed, well-behaved pets. Proceeds from Paws in the Park benefit the AWLA, which supports homeless animals in Alexandria, pets, and people throughout the community. Sponsorships are still available, and more information about attending or participating in this year’s festival and what to expect can be found at

About the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria 

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) has been a beacon of hope for animals and the people who love them. Through adoptions, spay and neuter assistance, education, community service, and outreach, the AWLA is key in promoting responsible pet care across Northern Virginia. The AWLA works with the City of Alexandria to provide animal care, control, and protection and operates the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, an open-admission animal sheltering facility.

Events like Paws in the Park help further the mission of caring for Alexandria’s animals and people. Proceeds from Paws in the Park will go directly toward their many community programs, including their Pet Pantry, which provides pet food and other supplies to pet parents facing financial hardship.

The AWLA can support pet families and at-risk animals thanks to the kindness of generous donors. Learn more about the AWLA and find ways to support Alexandria’s animals at

ICYMI: Adopt a Pet in Alexandria: Meet Igor, a Good Buddy for Adventures

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